In recent months, fans have noticed that Gabourey Sidibe is rocking a slimmer figure now, and the actress reveals the change is thanks to weight loss surgery — which she secretly underwent in May 2016.

“I just didn’t want to worry,” the 33-year-old, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes before the procedure, tells People magazine. “I truly didn’t want to worry about all the effects that go along with diabetes. I genuinely [would] worry all the time about losing my toes.”

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The Empire star details the journey in her new memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, which comes out in May. “My surgeon said they’d cut my stomach in half. This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat. My brain chemistry would change and I’d want to eat healthier. I’ll take it!” she writes. “My lifelong relationship with food had to change.”

gabourey sidibe getty images, instagram
Getty Images, Instagram

Gabourey in August 2014 vs. March 2017.

She continues, “The surgery wasn’t the easy way out. I wasn’t cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without it.”

Gabourey has also changed up her eating habits and works out with a trainer when she’s on set. “It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful,” she shares. “I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs.”

Even though the Oscar nominee has no problem being open about her struggles, including her battle with bulimia, she’s keeping her numbers to herself. “I have a goal right now, and I’m almost there,” she says. “And then once I’ve got it, I’ll set another. But my starting weight and my goal weight, they’re personal. If too many people are involved, I’ll shut down.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see how Gabourey has changed over the years!